Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project Rebound--Foxy Edition, Fourth Edition

At least I think this is the fourth time we have gone through this with her. It might be the fifth actually. She started her intensive fatten up program tonight. I want to chronicle it in here so I have an easy reference that I cannot accidentally throw away or lose.

Foxy is 16 or 17 this year, I cannot remember right off the top of my head. I think I got her when she was six...I know she is one of the last daughters of Doc Wilson. Most years, she will toddle along just fine with her weight, then I will not pay close attention for a few days and the next time I look, she will look like shit. That can happen when the time changes and I feed in the dark after work...thus not noticing it when it happens. Also, when you look at it every day, you do not notice a pound or two here--but miss a few days and string a few lost pounds together and it is obvious. Some years she does not do it, and some she looks like hell from the time she weans a baby til the next spring. I usually give her a year off in those circumstances.
She actually stays in better flesh when she is in foal. Its odd.

This year, she stayed looking really good until after Thanksgiving. Then I noticed she was not fat like I like her, but about a 5 on the Henneke scale....way better than usual for that time of year. Even up until mid-December when I left for Ft Worth, she looked fine. I was thrilled.

Anyway....about three weeks ago, she came in with the old ladies Rock and Play and they have since been sharing a pen. She gets along well with those alligators, and they even share food. She was headed down weight wise....she looked rough....between a 2 and 4 on the scale but I knew she would spring back with some TLC. They have had a round bale of bermuda to themselves, and also have been fed about 8 pounds of Equine Senior plus about that of alfalfa pellets and a couple pounds of beet pulp every day.

It has been viciously cold, so I gave her a lighter weight blanket as it is the only one handy that would fit her when I got the bright idea mid-snow storm that she needed one...the other girls got heavier turnouts because they are old (28 and 29) and would be far harder to bring back if they got too low. ...plus they are bigger than her anyway so I have more that fit just laying around ready to be used. Since Rock destroys her turnout blanket every other day and has to have a new one put on, I have been checking her occasionally and she is putting on weight, as is Playmate.

Foxy likes to run from us at feeding time, so it was not until this last week that I got to lay hands on her enough to lift her blanket---and damned if she did not look WORSE. I do not get it. She had been getting the good feed poured to her and all the hay she could eat, and I think she looks worse. Barry thought maybe it was not as bad as it looked, just that her hair was mashed down from the blanket. I don't know. But she was shivering, so we put a heavier turnout on top of her orange blanket and started planning the Project Rebound Intensive Program.

First step was to deworm them with the tapeworm stuff. She is dewormed regularly, but what the hell, it was worth a shot to use something I normally do now. They got that last week. Then I had to finish Power Paking the babies and get them out of my barn--that happened yesterday. I was short a stall because the snow blew in to one of them--so I got the babies out and gutted a stall for Foxy tonight. I snuck up on her in the pen and got her in to the new stall, with a full bucket of alfalfa pellets and beet pulp, and another bucket full of senior. I need to reweigh my scoops of senior, but my guess is the bucket is holding close to 20 pounds of senior. She was getting after it pretty serious when I left her tonight. When it stops freezing all the time, I will also add some oil to her diet, but since it is frozen solid right now, I cannot do it now. In the past, I have used Strategy to beef her up and is has worked well---but I thought I would try the Senior so I can let her eat all she wants without concerns that she will founder.

I stripped her off to take pics, but only had my long lens and could not get the camera to focus. She might look better than last week. She is worst in her butt--where she loses the most weight every time. Not so much at the top of her butt but between her thighs, she just withers away. She has plenty of belly, and a touch of rib, but is off at the spine quite a bit. Her teeth were just done this summer and are in good shape. If I can get home at a reasonable hour tomorrow, I will take pics outside so I can track it, and then not look again for another week.

I hate it when this happens. The only way to avoid it is to keep her by herself every fall til the following spring, but that is no way to live. She is not a fan of being stalled long term either, so I will do this for a few days and let her out to play during the warmth this weekend---unless it is super muddy from the thaw--that burns too many calories. She is bedded down in such thick shavings that I know if I were to sneak up on her right now, she would be crashed out snoozing. That will keep her pretty happy for a few days, while she eats every waking moment.

4 comments:

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Gosh, I hope she does okay. Do you think it is the cold that wears on her? My Annie has a thin winter coat and will shiver on cold mornings so I have to blanket her on really cold, wet nights. She consumes double the feed any of my other horses eat and still looks to be on the thin side. I'm interested in reading about what works for you in keeping her fit.

Holly said...

"She actually stays in better flesh when she is in foal. Its odd."

hormones. Hormones that are produced when pregnant encourage weight gain and maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Horse Student: beyond me but sending encouragement to you and of course Foxy------

I know you will have most everything in your "power" under control.

Enjoy carol

Michelle said...

Poor Foxy. These winters are rough on me too! I hope Project Rebound kicks in quickly and gets her back in top shape.

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